Best Family Camping Tools to Ensure Optimum Comfort

best family camping tools

Camping with family is always fun. However, there are certain tools and equipment you will need to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable camping trip. Here is a camping checklist that you must have to ensure optimum comforts for all.

Coleman 6-Person Skydome

A cutting board with a cake on a table

Coleman’s Skydome series improves upon its classic dome tent by adding steeper walls to raise the headroom to six feet, in the case of the six-person model. Even with the added height, it was easy to pitch—one end of each main support pole is fixed to the tent body. At camp, we connected the pole segments, slid the disconnected ends into their opposite corners, and secured the tent body to the poles with snap-on clips. Inside, you and your brood can stretch out across 85 square feet and rest easy knowing the fly and tarp-style floor will shut out rain showers like they did for us.

Quechua Fresh & Black Easy Pop Up Tent

A chair sitting in front of a door

The Easy, which earned our 2020 Gear of the Year award, is the kind of tent that’s not intimidating to use if you’re just getting into camping. And in all likelihood, it will make more experienced campers at the next site over think twice about their more complicated rigs. That’s because the pre-assembled tent pops up and breaks down fast by pulling on two handles or pushing two buttons, respectively. We also liked the fly’s light-blocking fabric that let us sleep past dawn, even if it did mean sacrificing some airflow inside.

Sleeping Bag

If we hadn’t known the price before we tested it, we might have assumed the Tuck costs twice as much as it does. The spacious shape allowed us to sleep in a variety of positions and still stay warm. The hood and draft tube felt like luxurious touches on a sub-$100 bag. Plus, the zipper placement, which runs across the width of the bag at the shins, lets you create a foot vent for dumping heat. For kids, we recommend the REI Co-op Kindercone 25.

Sleeping Pad

You’ll hardly notice the rocky terrain underfoot with Sea to Summit’s Comfort Plus Self-Inflating sleeping pad, which impressed us enough to earn an Editors’ Choice award. The 3.1-inch thick polyurethane foam mat has triangle-shaped chambers within to reduce bulk and weight while still providing ample cushioning. A nonslip grip pattern on the bottom kept us from sliding around our tent all night.

Klymit Drift Camp Pillow

We never thought a pillow would be partially responsible for our stoke ahead of car-camping weekends. Then we slept on the Drift. Shredded memory foam creates a 5.5-inch-thick platform to rest your head on that we found to be plush yet supportive. The ripstop polyester side of the reversible case repels water and dirt. Turn it inside out, and jersey cotton offers next-to-skin softness.


Festive and functional, this solar-rechargeable string light set spans an impressive 18 feet, so we could actually illuminate a large swath of ground with it. Granted, the bulbs didn’t throw their combined 100 lumens of light far beyond that patch. Complete your setup with BioLite’s powerful and easily portable BaseLantern.

Hults Bruk Tarnaby

The 15-inch curved hickory shaft on the Tarnaby offers leverage for light-duty campground tasks, like making kindling and driving tent stakes into the ground. The 1.3-pound Swedish steel head is designed to maintain its sharp edge and, when not in use, is protected by an included leather sheath. 

Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman 200

Don’t get caught in the field without a first aid kit. The Sportsman has enough bandages, moleskin, and medication for a four-day excursion, and labeled, injury-specific pockets make finding the tools and supplies you need a cinch. For a portable day kit, choose Lifeline’s Trail Light Dayhiker. It weighs a scant 2.7 ounces and includes a nice variety of supplies for treating maladies like headaches, blisters, and bee stings.

These are the most essential camping tools to pack for a family trip.

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